Psychometric testing of the MDASI-HF: a symptom assessment instrument for patients with cancer and concurrent heart failure

J Card Fail. 2008 Aug;14(6):497-507. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2008.01.012. Epub 2008 May 27.


Background: The debilitating symptoms of cancer and heart failure (HF) can adversely affect the patient's quality of life. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory--Heart Failure (MDASI-HF), a 27-item self-report assessment instrument for patients with cancer and concurrent HF.

Methods and results: Psychometric testing used data from 156 patients (age 63.3 +/- 13.2 years, 56% male) with a diagnosis of cancer and HF receiving care in a major cancer center. Reliability of the MDASI-HF for the 13 symptoms (alpha = 0.89), 8 HF-specific items (alpha = 0.83), and interference items (alpha = 0.92) was high. Criterion-related validity with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance scale (r = 0.63) and the New York Heart Association classification (r = 0.65) were statistically significant, P = .01. Construct validity supported two constructs for the additional HF specific items: covert HF factor and overt HF factor.

Conclusion: The MDASI-HF is a valid and reliable instrument for symptom assessment in patients with cancer and HF. This instrument can be used to identify symptom occurrence and enhance the provider's understanding of the prevalence and severity of symptoms from the patient's perspective.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index